I usually wait until around the time of the Oscars to post the list of what I thought was my Top 50 films of 2015. I saw 128 films last year, somewhat on the lower end of what I had expected. I’ve accompanied each selection with a brief statement about how I still feel about the film, what I remember liking about it, or why you should see it.
50) Welcome To Me- A loopy comedy with a memorable performance by Kristin Wiig. Overlooked by many due to a very brief theatrical release.
49) The Big Short- A really important topic botched by shitty directing. I’m baffled he was nominated for an Oscar, but definitely a must-watch film in order to survive life.
48) Southpaw- An absolutely stellar performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. Easily one of the best of the year, and criminally overlooked.
47) The Final Girls- Quirky, off-beat horror comedy destined to be a cult classic.
46) Amy- Not quite the most devastating doc of the year (Tig), but a reminder of the demons we implore upon our impressionable pop artists.
45) Shaun The Sheep- Surprisingly really good. Wholesome, and totally worth your time.
44) Love and Mercy- Fantastic performances, great music. Paul Dano was definitely robbed this year.
43) Trainwreck- A promising start for a new film star.
42) Pitch Perfect 2- A worthy sequel that helped the franchise from becoming the next Step Up or Bring It On.
41) Pawn Sacrifice- It might be Tobey Maguire’s best work, but the film ends too early, not allowing us the true unraveling of the character.
40) Cooties- An underrated horror comedy that’s a ton of fun to watch. Standout performance from Rainn Wilson.
39) Sleeping With Other People- A film that shows Jason Sudekis and Alison Brie have charisma to spare, and need more film roles. Especially Brie.
38) The DUFF- A surprisingly intelligent teen comedy. Not quite Mean Girls, but pretty close.
37) The Hunting Ground- Whether you agree with it or not, you have to admit if it’s all true, it’s infuriating and heartbreaking at the same time.
36) Mississippi Grind- Ryan Reynolds’ best performance in years, and Ben Mendelssohn is also a standout.
35) Ted 2- A “surprise”, I’m sure, but I laughed my ass off.
34) Spy- Melissa McCarthy is true to form in a film that should definitely spawn a franchise.
33) McFarland USA- An overlooked early release that featured a strong Kevin Costner performance, and a heartwarming story.
32) Avengers: Age Of Ultron- Sure, it’s loud and flashy, but sometimes loud and flashy is really entertaining.
31) Run All Night- Boosted by strong performances from its cast, it avoids being a D-list Liam Neeson actioner.
30) The Clouds of Sils Maria- A somewhat slow meditation on life, with two great performances in it. Kristen Stewart’s best work.
29) The Gift- A promising directorial debut from Joel Edgerton, and surprisingly good dramatic work from Jason Bateman.
28) Ant-Man- Before Deadpool, this was the closest thing to revolutionary that the Marvel films had seen. Not your average run of the mill superhero film.
27) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay pt 2- More action than the last, and still really strong work from a great cast.
26) The Walk- Better than I thought it would be. A crime caper with a great performance from Joseph Gordon Levitt, and some CGI artists.
25) The Intern- A crowdpleasing film that’s easy to write off, but DeNiro is just so damn likeable in this. Take your mom to see it.
24) Creed- A film that should have sucked was saved by masterful direction from Ryan Coogler and performances by Michael B Jordan and Sylvester Stallone.
23) The Danish Girl- A heartbreaking performance from Eddie Redmayne, and another strong performance from Alicia Vikander this year.
22) Jurassic World- Brings out the kid in everyone who enjoyed the first Jurassic Park film. A shot of adrenaline for the franchise.
21) Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation- Not quite Ghost Protocol, but very close. A much better followup than Spectre.
20) The Revenant- A slow meditation at times, but a career defining performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, and great work from Tom Hardy.
19) Brooklyn- A beautiful film led by Saorise Ronan that really captures the human side of immigration.
18) Straight Outta Compton- Not the best picture of the year, but a damn good biopic that resonates today even louder.
17) Anomalisa- The oddest animated film you’ll see this year, but possibly also the most realistic and human.
16) Ex Machina- Really stunning indie work. High concept. Great cast.
15) Tig- My favorite documentary of the year. Heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.
14) The Kingsman- Breathes new life into the comic book/spy genre. Can’t wait for the sequel.
13) Danny Collins- A great performance from Al Pacino, and a nice commentary on aging celebrities trying to leave a lasting artistic legacy.
12) Tangerine- The biggest surprise of the year. Destined to be a cult classic. The best film you probably hadn’t heard of this year.
11) Beasts Of No Nation- Idris Elba was robbed. It’s not a film you’ll watch over and over, but it demands to be seen at least once.
10) Trumbo- Fuck you. I loved this. I don’t know why it’s so divisive. Great work from the cast, and an important message that still impacts today.
9) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl- I wish everyone had remembered this film existed. It’s just a really great film. Olivia Cooke was fantastic.
8) The Hateful Eight- Another solid entry from Quentin Tarantino. Jennifer Jason Leigh is spectacular.
7) Mad Max: Fury Road- The film everyone is still talking about. A flawless action film with perfect special effects and a great message for women.
6) Star Wars: The Force Awakens- This is how you reboot/relaunch a franchise. High expectations were actually met.
5) Bridge Of Spies- A tense masterpiece from Spielberg and Hanks.
4) Spotlight- Absolutely a must see. A difficult watch, but very rewarding.
3) Inside Out- One of Pixars absolute best films.
2) Room- Yes, it’s hard to watch, but it’s so good. So very good. Brie Larson should win. Jacob Tremblay was robbed.
1) The Martian- It’s a film that speaks to everyone. What if you could go back and save someone you loved from dying? A great performance from Matt Damon, and my pick for Best Picture.